A boat full of illegal immigrants trying to flee the U.S. Coast Guard was caught by the Border Patrol’s Midnight Express Interceptor vessel, according to border officials.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sea Otter spotted the suspicious 25-foot blue and white panga boat Wednesday about 8 miles west of Leucadia at about 2:30 a.m. They called the Border Patrol for backup when the boat fled.
Using a Blackhawk helicopter and the Midnight Express Interceptor, agents stopped the boat with 22 illegal immigrants onboard Wednesday west of La Jolla, officials said.
Agents took the boat’s driver into custody, and turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The remaining illegal immigrants were turned over to U.S. Border Patrol for processing.
Published at 11:37 AM PST on Dec 3, 2009 | Updated at 11:45 AM PST on Dec 3, 2009